It is no secret that Arsenal need to strengthen going into next season, if they are to mount a serious challenge for the premier league title. Early rumors circulating this week had Buffon and Melo coming to Arsenal with Van Persie going the other way. We have also been linked with Joe Hart of City because of our need to find an experienced goalkeeper, but the manager has been quick to dispel the rumors, calling them “all wrong”.
What is known by most arsenal fans, is that we are definitely going to buy new players this summer, but let’s not forget the new premier league rule for home-grown players comes into effect for the 2010/2011 season, so how would this rule affect how Arsene Wenger moves in the transfer market? From next season, clubs must include eight home-grown players out of a squad of 25.
“A home-grown player will be defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the Season during which he turns 21).
Clubs will be able to supplement their squads with unlimited additional players under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences.Changes to the squad list of 25 may be made during the period of a transfer window.”
There has been a lot of interpretation of this rule, but as i understand it the player must have been registered with Arsenal Football Club and trained with the club for 3 years prior to their 21st birthday. This means players like Cesc Fabregas, Johan Djourou, Denilson, Carlos Vela, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Song, Fran Merida, Gael Clichy, Nicklas Bendtner, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Craig Eastmond all count as “home-grown”. That is 13 players who count towards the rule leaving us 12 to make the squad of 25. Note that this rule is different from the Uefa 6+5 which has been deemed illegal by the European Union because it restricts movement of labor.
I have no problem with this new homegrown quota being implemented by FA boss Richard Scudamore, my only sticking point is the squad size of only 25 players, which leaves little room to maneuver, especially for a side like Arsenal’s, that has it’s fair share of injuries. The manager agrees that the rule of a 25 man squad is too restrictive. He says on the arsenal website;
“The 25-man limit is too strict – especially for teams who suffer more than their fair share of injuries.
There is no room to move.
Is 25 enough given the injuries? It is an artificial rule that I don’t like.
I am quite surprised the players union accepted this rule as it could put many players out of a job. They want to fight against unemployment but they stop us employing footballers.”
Either way, all 20 teams have voted for the rule and that should create an interesting dynamic on how teams will be structured going into next season. It’s not yet known what role this rule will play when the transfer market opens this summer, but i am sure the manager would certainly be keeping that in mind. It appears the deal for Chamakh is already done, with both parties waiting for the end of the campaign before making any announcements. We could yet see a youth movement in the premier league next season.
I wonder if teams who have no academies are going to approach us for some of our academy players who might be on the fringes of getting into the first team. If that is the case, we could turn a nice profit selling some of our youngsters to other teams who need to meet the “home-grown” quota for next season.
Finally, our 3rd place spot seems all but secure now, a win against Blackburn should guarantee us automatic qualification into the Champions League group stages. A point wouldn’t be bad at all, just means we have to win against Fulham on the final day or at least get a point to see us solidify our position.